I talk a lot about the idea of letting go.
And the truth is I really mean what I say, but saying it over and over again can sound at best repetitive and at worst, disingenuous.
It got me to thinking- what do I really mean when I say let go? Do I mean that or am I trying to say something else?
At first, I think I meant letting go of control.
Last week, I found my deepest expression of ustrasana.
Oddly enough it was on a day that I didn’t feel particularly inspired to practice. In fact, I had to really slap myself around to get motivated.
I had spent a few days out of town and was beat. Every step toward the studio made me feel more put out than the previous one. I was rolling my eyes at myself (useless really…who loses when that happens? Silly rabbit) as I swiped my card to get on the train.
With headphones on and Esthero blaring the two sides of myself battled.
Can’t move on
But I can’t go home
And I’m not so strong
But I make my way
To the place I know
Inside my heart
Where I used to go
To get brave and
I don’t wanna be lost anymore
Hurumph. I’m tired. (Just shut up and go to class. You’ll be so happy when you get there)
Who needs class? Not me. (Yes you do, when you don’t want to go is when you most need your mat)
Alas, the smarter side of me won. I got to class.
When I sat on my mat in the darkness I realized I had no fight in me. Maybe it was being tired from travel. Maybe it was lack of sleep. But I was able to turn myself over to my practice.
It was in a word, magnificent.
And while I found my new expression of ustrasana, I was more elated about my discovery.
It’s not about control. It’s about trust.
I surrendered my body and breath to the pose. I didn’t let go with a ‘what if’ I can’t do it. With my chest lifted and hips moving slightly forward I bent backwards. There was no worry about whether I could. There wasn’t baggage about the last time I tried. Maybe it was because my brain was fried I wasn’t screwing around in my head.
There is a difference between letting go and complete surrender. Well there is for me.
The act of letting go doesn’t implies trust but doesn’t require it.
I can let go and stay in my skeptical shoes, but when I surrender it means that I’m turning myself over.
And that’s where trust comes in.
I’ll just say it- this is a big deal for me. The whys of this story aren’t as interesting as the now.
Yoga builds trust. It builds trust between your body and breath. Each complimenting each other working in unison to create harmony.
Yoga builds trust between me and the world. With a better breath my heart expands and with that I let more and more in.
This is yoga, and I surrender.